Andy Murray expresses shock after ‘heartbreaking’ Nottingham attacks


Andy Murray said he did not know whether play would go ahead at the Nottingham Open after the “heartbreaking” incident in the city centre overnight.

Three people were killed and another three were in hospital after an attack in the early hours of the morning, with much of the local area cordoned off. Play did go ahead as planned and Murray, fresh from his title success at Surbiton last week, got his campaign in the Challenger event off to a winning start with a routine 6-3, 6-4 victory over Belgian minnow Joris De Loore. But Murray, who ate out in Nottingham city centre not far from where the attacks happened, said the incident was “way more important than tennis”.

He said: “It was obviously shocking when I woke up this morning and when I was going down to breakfast a few messages on our team chat came up. We are staying in the city centre and had been out for dinner last night and walking around those areas. You never expect something like that to happen, it was really shocking.

Tournament organisers confirmed there will be a minute’s silence in memory of the three victims ahead of play on Wednesday morning. On court, everything is going well for Murray, who won his sixth match in nine days and is feeling in good physical shape.

His victory at Surbiton, a second-tier tournament, came on the same day as Murray’s one-time nemesis Novak Djokovic won a record-breaking 23rd grand slam. Murray feels some regret at injury denying him the chance to compete when he was at the peak of his career but revealed a text message from his wife Kim put things into perspective.

“Obviously I would love to be competing for grand slams and to be in that position, I am also aware that what they have done is incredible and what he is doing at his age is brilliant,” he said.

“We have completely different journeys and what happened with my hip when I was in the peak of my career was really unfortunate. But I got a message from my wife when I was driving up here saying she had seen Novak on the news that he won in Paris and said she was so proud that I was still grinding it out in Challengers and still working as hard as I ever have done and that means a lot to me.”